: the act or power of carefully thinking about, listening to, or watching someone or something, Observation
: Notice, Interest, or Awareness
: special care or treatment
Attention (n.): late 14th century, “giving heed,” from Latin attentionem “attentiveness,” from attendere “mental heeding.” Used with a remarkable diversity of verbs, such as: pay, gather, attract, draw, call. As a military cautionary word preparative to giving a command, it is attested from 1792. Attention span is from 1903 (earlier span of attention, 1892)
Attend (v.): c. 1300, “to direct one’s mind or energies,” from Old French atendre (12c., Modern French attendre) “to expect, wait for,” and directly from Latin attendere “give heed to,” literally “to stretch toward.”
“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.”
Mary Oliver (b. 1935, age 80, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award American poet)
“Anyone who teaches me deserves my respect, honoring and attention.”
Sonia Rumzi (b. 1956, author, painter, photographer, and cook)
“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”
Thich Nhat Hanh (b. 1926, age 89, Vietnamese Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet, and peace activist.)
“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us the less taste we shall have for the destruction of our race. Wonder and humility are wholesome emotions, and they do not exist side by side with a lust for destruction.”
Rachel Carson (1907-1964, American marine biologist and conservationist whose book Silent Spring and other writing advanced the global environmental movement.)
“The beauty and mystery of this world only emerges through affection, attention, interest and compassion . . . open your eyes wide and actually see this world by attending to its colors, details and irony.”
Orhan Pamuk (b. 1952, age 63, Turkish novelist, screenwriter, academic, and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature)
“Do stuff. be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration's shove or society's kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It's all about paying attention. attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. stay eager.”
Susan Sontag (1933-2004, American writer, filmmaker, teacher, and political activist)
“We know that attention acts as a lightning rod. Merely by concentrating on something one causes endless analogies to collect around it, even penetrate the boundaries of the subject itself: an experience that we call coincidence, serendipity – the terminology is extensive. My experience has been that in these circular travels what is really significant surrounds a central absence, an absence that, paradoxically, is the text being written or to be written.”
Julio Cortazar (1914-1984, Argentine novelist, short story writer, and essayist)
“All night my heart makes its way
however it can over the rough ground
of uncertainties, but only until night
meets and then is overwhelmed by
morning, the light deepening, the
wind easing and just waiting, as I
too wait (and when have I ever been
disappointed?) for redbird to sing”
Attention is so much about mental awareness. But it’s also about being present and centered in the moment so one is a clear observer of life.
One’s perception and focus depends on the individual and how the Universe speaks to that person.
When I am faced with a problem or am stuck I often look to nature for the restoration of my mind, body, and spirit, essentially I look for inspiration (14th century, Latin, inspirare “to inflame, to blow into.”).
I love sitting next to bodies of water, whether it’s a lake, a stream, or the ocean itself. There’s nothing more mysterious or magical than reading what the water has to say through its vibration and waves.
Wind is also an unbelievable source or nourishment. The Hopi Indians believe that the Spirit and the Wind are synonymous. In Christianity, The Holy Spirit is also described as The Wind. There’s so much potential in hearing, feeling, and breathing in the Wind’s messages.
Nature’s wisdom and signs are infinite. For instance, our Native American brothers and sisters often refer to trees as “Standing People.” And when an animal or bird shows up each creature brings with it unique wisdom and messages.
Also, there are sublime languages in the Sky.
When I lived in NYC around the time of 911, the sky pulsated with vibrant contrasting colors and shapes of huge arrows and wings. The sky battles seemed to last for months, if not a couple of years. It was as if Angels were fighting in the sky as we were fighting on the ground. “As above so below.”
If we hone in and see the beauty that exists around us there is so much to discern and learn. But in order to do we must shift down into stillness and pay very close attention to the signs.
Peace and prosperity to you, my brothers and sisters.